Natural Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
It is important to pinpoint what is causing low blood pressure so that steps can be taken to monitor your diet or medication to ensure blood pressure returns to more normal levels:
Dehydration – when you’re losing more fluids than you take on can cause, weakness, dizziness and in some cases sickness & fevers
Lack of nutrients – when you’ve a lack of certain vitamins, your body can fail to produce enough red blood cells which could lead to anaemia
Blood loss – due to a major injury or internal bleeding means there is less blood in your body, lowering blood pressure
Time of day – blood pressure changes overnight so when you wake in the morning it will naturally be lower
Exercise – exercise temporarily increases your blood pressure, however, over time your blood pressure when resting will become lower and your body will begin to run more efficiently
Pregnancy – a woman’s circulatory system expands rapidly during pregnancy meaning blood pressure will naturally drop, and will be monitored during the pregnancy. After childbirth, blood pressure should return to previous levels
How Do I Know If I Have Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure is not always a sign of a problem. But if you have symptoms of low blood pressure, your doctor can diagnose the condition and uncover the cause. Symptoms of dizziness and lightheadedness when you stand up from sitting or lying down — with a decrease in your blood pressure — may indicate a condition called postural hypotension. A wide range of underlying conditions may also cause your symptoms. It’s important to identify the cause of low blood pressure so appropriate treatment can be given.
The doctor will look at your medical history, age, specific symptoms, and the conditions under which the symptoms occurred. They will do a physical exam and may repeatedly check your blood pressure and pulse rate — after you’ve been lying down for a few minutes, right after you stand up, and within a few minutes after you stand quietly.
Other tests may be performed, such as an ECG to measure heart rate and rhythm and an echocardiogram . You may also have blood tests to look for anemia or problems with your blood sugar levels.
More sophisticated home ECG monitoring may be necessary to check for heart problems that come and go or an irregular heart beat that can cause your blood pressure to drop suddenly.
An exercise stress test or, less commonly, an electrophysiology test may also be helpful.
Low Blood Pressure Symptoms
Low blood pressure is pressure so low it causes symptoms or signs due to the low flow of blood through the arteries and veins. When the flow of blood is too low to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidney, the organs do not function normally and may be temporarily or permanently damaged.
Unlike high blood pressure, low blood pressure is defined primarily by signs and symptoms of low blood flow and not by a specific blood pressure number. Some individuals routinely may have blood pressure numbers of 90/50 with no symptoms and therefore do not have low blood pressure. However, others who normally have higher blood pressures may develop symptoms of low blood pressure if their blood pressure drops to 100/60.
During pregnancy, blood pressure tends to decrease. Normal blood pressure during pregnancy may be lower than 100/60. Your OB/GYN or Midwife should monitor your bood pressure if you are pregnant.
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If You Notice A Sudden Decline In Blood Pressure
A single lower-than-normal reading is not cause for alarm, unless you are experiencing any other symptoms or problems. If you experience any dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea or other symptoms, its a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider. To help with your diagnosis, keep a record of your symptoms and activities at the time they occurred.
Is low blood pressure related to low heart rate? Find out.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Last Reviewed: Oct 31, 2016
What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:
The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, 120 over 80, or write, 120/80 mmHg.
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High Blood Pressure Symptoms You Shouldnt Ignore
Caregiver Duties Aging & Health
If youre worried about developing high blood pressure or youve already been diagnosed with this condition, you may be wondering what symptoms to watch out for.
While the symptoms described here may indicate a high blood pressure crisis, its also very important to understand that a persons blood pressure can be dangerously high and yet there are no symptoms at all, notes retired emergency physician Ben Hippen. This is why high blood pressure is sometimes called the silent killer.
For this reason, its important to monitor your blood pressure often. When youre at your doctors office, or even at the pharmacy, take a few minutes to stick your arm in the cuff and get a reading. If you can afford it and will actually use it, a home blood pressure monitor is a worthwhile investment.
Impacts Of Low Blood Pressure
As mentioned, some people have a naturally lower blood pressure and this is normal and often nothing to worry about. However, if you’re suffering from any symptoms or abnormally low blood pressure which impacts your day to day life it is important to seek advice. If left untreated, it can lead to anaemia. This is when not enough red blood cells are produced meaning a lack of oxygen is available to vital organs such as the heart and brain, increasing the chances of heart attacks or strokes. Find out more about anaemia.
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Neurological Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
Proper functioning of the central nervous system is necessary to maintain adequate blood pressure. The vagus nerve and adrenaline system of the body work together to affect blood pressure. When the vagus nerve is overstimulated, veins expand, insufficient blood returns to the heart, and blood pressure may decrease. Vasovagal syncope is a term for a type of fainting that occurs when the vagus nerve is overstimulated. Vasovagal syncope may happen to those who are sensitive to pain or cannot stand the sight of blood. The vagus nerve is overstimulated in these cases and fainting occurs. This type of fainting may even occur when straining to urinate or while having a bowel movement.
In some kinds of spinal cord injury, adrenaline to the arteries is blocked. When this happens, the arteries remain wide open and adequate blood pressure is not maintained.
What’s The Difference Between Blood Pressure And Pulse
While your blood pressure is the force of your blood moving through your blood vessels, your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute.
- They are two separate measurements and indicators of health.
- For people with high blood pressure , theres no substitute for measuring blood pressure.
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Dietary And Lifestyle Changes
- Reduce the consumption of unsaturated fats, especially red meat. These foods contribute to high blood pressure levels.
- Lose weight. Excess weight can increase blood pressure.
- Boost your metabolism. This helps to increase blood circulation and reduce high blood pressure risk.
- Minimize stress. A contributing factor for the development of high blood pressure and increased frequency of hypertension headaches.
Making changes to how you live can be difficult. But by starting with only minor changessuch as losing a pound a week or just being more aware how much salt is in the food you eatyou will be on the right track to making sure your blood pressure is under control.
However, not all aspects of health are within our control and there may be a time when the care of a trained medical professional will be required. There are great anti-hypertensive medications available that do a great job at keeping blood pressure normal.
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Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.
What Can Cause Low Blood Pressure
Factors that can cause low blood pressure include:
- Medical conditions like heart problems, hormonal problems, septic shock, neurological disorders, anemia etc.
- Certain medications for instance, some antidepressants or beta blockers prescribed for heart conditions
- Blood pressure tends to drop during the first twenty-four weeks of pregnancy.34
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High Blood Pressure Treatment
The best way to lower blood pressure begins with changes you can make to your lifestyle to help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe medicine to lower your blood pressure. These are called antihypertensive medicines.
The goal of treatment is to reduce your blood pressure to normal levels. Your doctor may prescribe medicine thats easy to take and has few, if any, side effects. This treatment is highly successful. If your blood pressure can only be controlled with medicine, youll need to take the medicine for the rest of your life. It is common to need more than one medicine to help control your blood pressure. Dont stop taking the medicine without talking with your doctor. Otherwise, you may increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
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How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
To figure out your blood pressure rate, your health care provider takes blood pressure readings at different times. You need more than 1 reading because blood pressure changes depending on what you are doing and varies during the day. For example, your blood pressure can increase when you are nervous or in a hurry.
If your blood pressure is high while with your health care provider but normal otherwise, you may just be nervous. This effect is common. Even people already being treated for high blood pressure go through this.
What matters is what happens to your blood pressure outside your health care providers office. If you have high blood pressure, you should use a home blood pressure monitor. Ask your health care provider how to use the monitor correctly.
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When To See A Doctor
What does low blood pressure feel like? Now you know the answer, so if you feel dizzy or have any other symptoms, do consult your doctor. Sometimes low blood pressure can be a sign of some serious underlying medical problems. It is a good idea to record your blood pressure readings and note the associated symptoms.
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure On The Day Of My Medical Exam
Blood pressure has long been a source of stress for the truck driver. It is frequently referred to as the silent killer by many of us who work in health care. If you suffer high blood pressure it is important that it is controlled and managed. This can be done through natural means such as with exercises, diet and weight loss. It may also be accomplished through medical management such as with the prescription of blood pressure medications. Whatever way you choose, the blood pressure on the day of your exam must still be below 140/90 in order to certify without delay. Lets first take a look at some basic information about blood pressure before getting into managing it on the day of your exam.
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How Is Blood Pressure Determined
Several factors influence blood pressure. Blood volume and blood vessel wall behavior are two important determinants of blood pressure. The more blood pumped with each heartbeat, the higher the blood pressure. The presence of stiff or narrow artery walls that resist blood flow also increases blood pressure. Having lower blood volume and open, flexible arteries decreases blood pressure.
Quick Signs To Tell You If You Have High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure risk is relatively quite common even if you do not have a family history of the health condition since it can be lifestyle-related too. Problems of high BP and low BP are something that should not be taken for granted and should be given immediate and prompt treatment to control the disorder and not lead to severe complications. Here are ten quick signs to tell you that if have high blood pressure or not.
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What To Do If You Have High Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, its important to know that youre not alone. Its important to find support from the people around you and healthcare professionals. Make sure you check your blood pressure and keep a diary of your readings regularly, so you can see your progress. Join our HealthUnlocked community.
Cut Down On Rapidly Digested Carbs
Foods like white rice, white bread, sugary drinks, and potatoes are quickly digested and passed from your stomach to your small intestine. This leads to postprandial hypotension. So cutting back on foods like this and adding more foods that are slowly digested for instance, protein, beans, and whole grains can help prevent your blood pressure from dipping too low after a meal.11
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What Are The Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure may be induced by conditions that decrease tension in artery walls or decrease blood volume. Dehydration and bleeding are two examples of conditions that reduce blood volume. Conditions that reduce the amount of blood pumped by the heart — such as cardiomyopathy and heart attack — may be associated with lower blood pressure. Injuries to the spinal cord and side effects from certain medications can also reduce blood pressure.
Baroreceptor Signals Sent To The Veins
If blood pressure becomes too high, baroreceptors send signals to the veins instructing them to expand and store more blood and return less blood to the heart. The result is blood flow decreases and blood pressure becomes lower. Conversely, veins can become narrower and return more blood to the heart, which increases blood pressure.
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Low Blood Pressure: What Is It
Low blood pressure could include feelings of nausea, dizziness or nothing at all.
In some people, low blood pressure can occur naturally and with no symptoms. In others, however, low blood pressure symptoms could be pointing towards a more serious problem. With that said, it makes sense to know what kind of signs your body could be giving you.
Medications That Can Cause Low Blood Pressure
Several medicines may cause low blood pressure, including some medications used to control high blood pressure.
Working with your doctor or other health care provider to change your medication or adjust your dosage can help control low blood pressure. You should never modify a dose or stop taking a medication without first consulting your health care provider.
Alpha and beta blockers, diuretics, erectile dysfunction drugs, Parkinsons disease drugs and some types of antidepressants can cause low blood pressure.
Medications that can cause low blood pressure include:
- Benicar a prescription blood pressure medication
- Cialis an erectile dysfunction drug risk is especially high when taken with nitroglycerin heart medication
- Cymbalta a serotonin and norepinephrine inhibitor antidepressant
- Hydrochlorothiazide a widely used generic diuretic
- Inderal, Innopran XL and other versions of propranolol beta blockers
- Lasix a diuretic
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About Low Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure is a measure of the force that your blood puts on the walls of your arteries as it’s pumped around your body. Youll see blood pressure shown as two numbers such as 120/80mmHg. The first number is the highest pressure when your heart contracts this is your systolic blood pressure. The second number is the pressure when your heart is fully relaxed this is your diastolic blood pressure. The letters mmHg stand for millimetres of mercury, which is the unit used to measure blood pressure.
Theres no set level at which your blood pressure is said to be too low its different for everyone. You might have a blood pressure thats naturally lower than average but if it doesnt cause you any problems, it wont be classed as low blood pressure. Your blood pressure is usually only considered to be too low if its causing symptoms.
Changing The Volume Of Blood
The higher the volume of blood in the arteries, the higher the blood pressureâas long as the width of the arteries remains constant. The volume of blood in the arteries is affected by
How much fluid is in the body
Whether very small arteries leak fluid
How much fluid the kidneys remove from the blood to excrete in the urine
Certain drugs, particularly diuretics
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